Build Common Ground

mobilsemainIn 2015, before the General Election, Migrants Organise worked with community organisations from across the world – Latin Americans, who felt invisible and underrepresented; Kenyans in West London, anxious about the opportunities for their young people; East and North African women, struggling to empower themselves following domestic violence and isolation; Ukrainians who were trying to support friends and family as conflict unfolded at home; domestic workers who were organising in the few hours they had spare on a Sunday – and many more. These diverse groups had diverse interests. Yet, we brought them together and we found common ground: shared experiences of powerlessness, xenophobia and hostility from the press and government, and tireless, thankless organising within communities. We knew that the 2015 election could change our situation, if we organised together. Some communities – Polish and Latin American – had been registering their members to vote to ensure they were a visible, powerful forces in the election. They taught other groups the lessons they had learnt. Collectively, we registered thousands of people to vote.

We knew that our power as voters was with our MPs. We supported migrant community groups in each constituency to meet, plan and organise together. Migrant groups came around the same table to meet with prospective parliamentary candidates and organise hustings. In meetings, community leaders secured concrete commitments on issues that mattered to their communities, a recognition of their power and relationship with their elected representative. More importantly, they began to understand what connected them to other migrant communities in the same area – sometimes shared challenges around buildings; sometimes shared frustrations about working with the local authority; sometimes shared anxiety about a particular local issue – gang violence, housing, racism. In every area, one issue connected migrant communities and brought each group allies in their struggles. From diverse starting points these groups have gone on to build alliances of strength in their local areas. Now, they act together for change and organise from a position of strength.

Hope In Unity: With support from Poet Ben Okri, North Kensington Youth Remember Grenfell

Hope In Unity: With support from Poet Ben Okri, North Kensington Youth Remember Grenfell

Jul 10 2018

On June 14th, one year since the fire that gutted Grenfell Tower, the people of North Kensington came onto the streets to…

Migrants Helped Save My Life: Denying Them Healthcare Hurts Us All

Migrants Helped Save My Life: Denying Them Healthcare Hurts Us All

Jul 09 2018

In our latest staff blog, Eleanor Weber-Ballard, Communications Coordinator at Migrants Organise, describes how international workers are crucial to the functioning of…

MPs Not Border Guards Campaign with Global Justice Now

MPs Not Border Guards Campaign with Global Justice Now

Jun 26 2018

Guest blog by Ed Lewis Global Justice Now’s Groups Officer  Last Saturday we witnessed a chilling upsurge of the far right on our…

Grenfell, one year on: Has anything changed in North Kensington?

Grenfell, one year on: Has anything changed in North Kensington?

Jun 14 2018

Before last year’s horrific fire at Grenfell Tower, North Kensington was grappling with the slow but steady gentrification that had been occurring…

A Welcome Walk: Migrants Organise Covers 10km to Support Community Programme

A Welcome Walk: Migrants Organise Covers 10km to Support Community Programme

May 29 2018

We did it! On Monday 21 May, Migrants Organise staff, volunteers, members and supporters traversed 10km across the capital as part of…

Speaking Out: Migrant Communities in Peterborough Unite Against Hate

Speaking Out: Migrant Communities in Peterborough Unite Against Hate

May 23 2018

Over the past few months, a small but significant shift has been taking place amongst migrant communities in Peterborough. People from diverse…

We’re Doing the London Legal Walk – And We Need Your Help to Reach Our Fundraising Target!

We’re Doing the London Legal Walk – And We Need Your Help to Reach Our Fundraising Target!

May 17 2018

On Monday, 21 May, Migrants Organise staff, volunteers, members and supporters will be participating in the London Legal Walk, an annual initiative organised by…

Building Power for a Better Society: Community Organising Against Hate

Building Power for a Better Society: Community Organising Against Hate

May 11 2018

By Sian Drinkwater. I come from a political family where there’s always been a lot of discussion about injustice and inequality in…

‘My Voice, My Vote’: Supporting Political Participation in North Kensington

‘My Voice, My Vote’: Supporting Political Participation in North Kensington

May 02 2018

North Kensington, where Migrants Organise has been based for the past 25 years, is a diverse area with a strong community spirit.…

Amnesty, Not Apology: Regularisation of Immigration Status as the Answer to Hostile Environment

Amnesty, Not Apology: Regularisation of Immigration Status as the Answer to Hostile Environment

Apr 23 2018

Migrants Organise members at a Strangers Into Citizens march. Photo: Beth Crosland. In a free and fair society, amnesty for all migrants…